Emerald In Disgrace!!! Philip Linden Warns Against Malicious Viewer!!!

by Pixeleen Mistral on 24/08/10 at 10:45 pm

Philip Linden took pen in hand today to warn Second Life players the controversial Emerald Viewer has been removed from the official list of third party viewers stating "We will not tolerate a viewer that includes malicious code, nor will we tolerate development teams with a history of violating users’ trust or disrupting their lives" on the Second Life blog.

Underlining the gravity of the situation, the Linden Lab CEO also sent virtual world residents personal e-mails – a task would could not have been fast, easy, or fun – encouraging players to flee the to other viewers: "If you have been using the Emerald viewer, for now we would encourage you to consider either one of the Linden Lab viewers, or an alternative third-party viewer".

The Herald contacted the Lab for comment, and Linden Lab PR specialist Pete Linden provided this statement:

We may remove viewers from the Third-Party Viewer Directory when they violate our Policy on Third-Party Viewers. The Policy prohibits the distribution of harmful functionality like denial-of-service attacks or griefing attacks. It also requires a published Privacy Policy that specifically describes what user data the third-party viewer collects, stores, and uses and how it uses, displays or shares that data.

As a result of multiple violations of the Policy, we have removed the listing of the Emerald viewer from the Third Party Viewer Directory.

We have insisted that the Emerald development team make transparent to the Second Life community the functionality of its viewer code and the user data that the Emerald viewer collects. We strongly urge all Residents who continue to use the Emerald viewer to make these demands as well. We also caution Residents of the potential risks involved in using certain versions of the Emerald viewer. Although we have not at this time disallowed use of the Emerald viewer entirely, we may do so if the problems with the viewer are not appropriately remedied by the Emerald development team.

Of note is the requirement of a published privacy policy specifically describing the user data collected by third party viewers and how this information is stored, displayed or used.

This requirement could be a problem for the Emerald viewer, which has a history of gathering full directory path names (which can include real life typists’ names) and baking these into avatar textures without the knowledge of the users. A dispute over this practice led to the departure of LordGregGreg from the Emerald gang recently after Lonely Bluebird (a.k.a. Phox) promised to remove the privacy leak, but did not. Lonely Bluebird remains on the Emerald development team.

The Lab’s statement supports claims by reliable sources that removal of the Emerald viewer from the third party viewer list was a unilateral action on the part of Linden Lab. This contradicts Emerald developer Skills Hak’s assertion that Emerald asked to be removed from the third party viewer list to transfer ownership of the listing from Fractured Crystal.

Mr. Crystal was thrown out of the gang in the wake of an Emerald viewer-based DDOS attack — although the Emerald gang leadership told the Herald this was not really a denial of service. Arabella Steadham – who does not lie – may want to consult with the Lab on their definition of a denial of service attack.

With Linden Lab cautioning players against using certain versions of the Emerald viewer, it may be only a matter of time before some or all versions are banned – unless appropriate remedies are enacted by the Emerald developers. Remedies may soon be moot however, if the players heed the Lab’s warning to flee Emerald.

Emerald Letter
the Emerald Letter

182 Responses to “Emerald In Disgrace!!! Philip Linden Warns Against Malicious Viewer!!!”

  1. Wolf Baginski

    Sep 7th, 2010

    Well, that’s it for Emerald.


    The ban takes effect 10am Wednesday.

    While Phoenix, and a few others, get into the Third-Party Viewer Directory.

  2. Bubblesort

    Sep 7th, 2010


    How did phoenix get on that list?

    Hell with it. If you are playing by the rules you’re a chump. LL just says don’t hack peoples shit, but they refuse to enforce those rules.

    Go to the kinggoon forums, grab a viewer and pirate the whole freaking grid. LL won’t care. While you are at it, start stalking people by IP and MAC numbers, and if the grid seems too stable one day, why not take it down if you can?

    There really is no point to LL pretending to have rules any more.

  3. Yep

    Sep 7th, 2010

    Yep, this is Linden Labs way of saving face by acting like they did something but in all reality, they did nothing.

    I agree, in SL do what ever you want regardless of the rules or how much harm it causes others. LL will do nada about it.

  4. Slayer

    Sep 7th, 2010

    “I agree, in SL do what ever you want regardless of the rules or how much harm it causes others. LL will do nada about it.”

    Lord of the Flies.

  5. Ronin Squall

    Sep 7th, 2010

    I don’t see a thing wrong with Phoenix on the TPV.

    1. LL gives Emerald team a list of demands.
    2. Everyone says yes, except for Phox. “Emerald” dies.
    3. Everyone else goes to a new team, and puts together a viewer project that complies with LL’s demands anyways.
    4. LL gets everything they asked for in the first place, and Phoenix can continue without the tarnished “Emerald” brand.
    5. Phoenix is put onto the TPV at the same time as Ascent which has nothing to do with the former Emerald team, so I don’t see where this is somehow favoritism.

  6. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 7th, 2010

    @ Ronin Squall

    The problem is (or so people are claiming) that Phoenix is no different from Emerald in the sense that it’s easy for Fractured and the like to get alts and tada, everything’s the way it was. Similarly, Phox has uploaded shit to the Phoenix repository, but nobody can confirm that this is either intentional or that Phox is just trying to bring everyone down in a bawwing fit of rage and selfishness, like he did to Jessica when Emerald was told to get rid of him and like he did to Soft when Emerald died.

  7. had enough

    Sep 7th, 2010

    Oh for FFS. Did you people really expect LL to really do anything? So they changed the brand name. It is still the same product but with a different wrapper.

  8. Fingerer

    Sep 7th, 2010

    “…same product but with a different wrapper.”

    Except for the little bit you left out that all source code is now transparent and there’s no one on the team LL asked to leave but who refused.

    So yeah. I guess the Phoenix press release that says; “This project, has started off simple, with it’s initial release of a safe clone of the Emerald viewer. Users want Emerald features, you shall have them.”

    is a bit of a giveaway.
    No one is denying it.
    Where is the conspiracy again?

  9. Nobody Really

    Sep 7th, 2010

    “Where is the conspiracy again?”

    If a proper conspiracy cannot be found, rest assured, one will be created!

    Kinda funny, really. Last week people were saying how there was no way LL could ban Emerald – it would bring the grid crashing down and be the end of the world.

    This week, they banned Emerald. And what do people say? LL did nothing.


  10. Slayer

    Sep 8th, 2010

    “This week, they banned Emerald. And what do people say? LL did nothing.”

    Linden Labs banned a name. It is still emerald, just a new name.

    as for that dick in your mouth, you can call it a lollipop. The funny part is…. it is still a dick that you have in your mouth regardless of what you name it.

  11. Fingerer

    Sep 8th, 2010

    So by that logic we should be calling Emerald ‘Snowglobe’ as most of the code for Emerald comes directly from the OS Snowglobe efforts.

  12. had enough

    Sep 8th, 2010

    Now leave nobody’s daddy’s dick out of this.

    Just a bunch of emerald furs fags trying to speak their piece. I know they shouldn’t speak with their mouths full.

  13. Nobody Really

    Sep 8th, 2010

    I see the maturity level here is on a par with the average pre-school.


  14. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 8th, 2010

    @ had enough

    I just find it humorous that you keep referring to furfags in the sense of the Emerald team, yet haven’t realized that most of those responsible for the anti-Emerald push are also furfags.

  15. Ronin Squall

    Sep 8th, 2010

    @Nelson, I was an Emerald hater before it was cool. Lots of marginal features that I don’t care about, lots of dubious features that I worried about, builders relying on these features as a crutch, and spreading fear uncertainty and doubt about Viewer 2. Furfaggotry was the least of my concerns

  16. Little Lost Linden

    Sep 8th, 2010

  17. Bubblesort

    Sep 8th, 2010

    Lets see what we know about the emerald dev team:


    They like to haxxor people’s computers to get at their dox.

    They use their users bandwidth for DDoS attacks

    They stalk people they don’t like (ask neil about that some time).

    … and they fooled LL into believing that some of them aren’t malicious.

    LL is totally incompetent. They don’t know any better. Sooner or later you’ll see the exact same BS happening with the pheonix viewer, only next time we can’t blame the devs for doing what we knew they would do. Next time we can blame LL directly.

    LL should have vote 5ed the whole crew and blocked all viewers they ever worked on.

    I mean, people like Woodbury lost their accounts for shooting a few particles at people in sandboxes, and Emerald is getting away with murder.

  18. Judge Joker

    Sep 8th, 2010

    @Nelson Jenkins

    Survival of the fittest, Furry and Steampunk are 2 fandom’s that are increasingly becoming mainstream, you can see it in games or animation or in TV adverts.

    Contrary to what’s expressed online, it’s a done deal your quite right furfags are on both sides, and the line is becoming ever more increasingly gray.


    4,700 accounts created in less than 36 hours! on furaffinity that should give you an simple eye on growth and that’s just one site.

    Or how about:

    202 new accounts in 20 minutes. Not bad!

    Propaganda that was pumped out only a few years back has done more to increase membership than to deter it, Where’s this all leading?

    Hopefully a technology wonderland community where we’re able to manipulate our appearance on an atomic level, don’t worry about aliens worry about furfags.

    Furry is the Subculture most likely to take body modification to the next level, that is if emo’s don’t get in there first.

    But I don’t consider a bucket of black paint, and a few metal stud’s to be truly remarkable, compared to semi or whole anthropomorphic body modifications derived from DNA manipulation.

    Just my personal option, I don’t speak for the furry community.

  19. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 8th, 2010

    @ Judge Joker

    The possibility of “transformation” is slim to none, and slim just left town. DNA reconfiguration isn’t possible with any degree of specificity. (If you want to encase yourself in enriched uranium, that’s your decision, and more power to you.) While it is possible to make bionic implants (for example, a robotic tail), the technology is far off and generally not popular.

  20. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 8th, 2010

    @ Little Lost Linden

    I went ahead and took the liberty of refuting everything in Arabella’s joke of a post.


  21. General Drama

    Sep 8th, 2010

    That furriness is spreading like AIDS in an AIDS infested world isn’t justification for joining the plague.

    As for Phoenix, geeze, Phoenix is just Phox reborn. New package, same heap of stinking malware, look, Phox has already loaded malicious code into Phoenix. Unless someone who knows the code as well as phox takes control and gods it over acceptance of code submissions, every open source effort stands to get toxified by Phox.

    Demand every third party client developer disclose their RL identity.

  22. General Drama

    Sep 8th, 2010


    Sep 7th, 2010

    “Think about it, General DramaLLama – with the Woodbury nuts running around hacking everything in sight, would you publish YOUR real name? ”

    They know my real name already. But then, I’m not an asshat wannabe malware coder who distributes botnet and identity stealing software disguised as a virtual world client, so I don’t have anything to worry about. You get what you give.

    This is where requiring public disclosure of developer identities serves the public interest: only an asshat seeking to avoid liability and prosecution would refuse to disclose publicly who they are.

    To turn a phrase of logic oft used by Emerald team to justify their malicious coding of spyware into the client: if you are truly innocent, you don’t have anything to worry about from publishing who you are. Only douchebags have something to fear from the righteous rage of anonymous.

  23. Selene Putzo

    Sep 8th, 2010

    “if you are truly innocent, you don’t have anything to worry about from publishing who you are. Only douchebags have something to fear from the righteous rage of anonymous.”


    if you are truly innocent, you’ve everything to worry about, by publishing who you are, from anonymous douchebags.


  24. Little Lost Linden

    Sep 8th, 2010

    @Nelson J.

    I went ahead and added the link of the your Arabella transcriptions:


    Only 4 more hours left!!

    It’s going to be a grid-wide meltdown today.

    Oh the humanity!

    This is just like the time when Hitler invaded some country.

    You know who else shuts down third party viewers?


  25. Samantha

    Sep 8th, 2010

    I’m beginning to see where the ends of this circular argument connect.

    Why should we be concerned that Modular Systems was abusing our personal information?

    Anonymous douchebags can use it to mess up our lives.

    Who are the anonymous douchebags?

    The same ones who attacked Modular Systems in the first place, trying to show how evil they were.

    Is it easy to use the phrase “anonymous douchebags” and “Woodbury University” in the same sentence?

    You bet.

  26. Gaara Sandalwood

    Sep 8th, 2010

    My comment was heavily moderated on their blog, so here:

    “I wonder why you have not told the users of Secondlife (50% of whom were Emerald users, by your own statistics) that the new approved TPVs are created by former griefers that you hounded out of secondlife, lock, stock and barrel.”

    I love that part, considering that the Emerald viewer’s developers included three widely known malicious viewer creators, and quite a few copybotters.

    “I wonder why you have not announced that Ascent is simply a new name for Interia + nano, two viewers designed to steal passwords and make content theft so much easier.”

    oh wow…..that’s really funny. Onyx was proven to simply be a modified VLife, by the way.

    But hey, who am I to question the always right Arabella Steadham? This comment is likely to be heavily moderated, I’ll bet. Nothing like giving the mindless drones more bawwwwwing to work with.

    “I am also curious as to why you think the so-called ‘lead dev’ on the Phoenix team is trustworthy”

    I don’t have home internet atm, but last I checked this viewer project was led by Jessica Lyons(someone correct me if I’m wrong), the same person Arabella accused of trying to take over the group when she tried to get Phox to leave.

    “And I assume with your all knowing abilities that you are perfectly aware of the relationship of the 3rd-class devs on the Emergence team with the group you mass banned some months back. Check who funds them.”

    Actually, M Linden and a few others banned them, not Philly. Oh, not to mention Phox, Jaycool, and I’m Skills were all perma banned before, but nothing was said on MS’s part about that(except for “oh, but this was before the new ToS took place, so it doesn’t count”).

    “So much for your worthless standard of ethics.”

    I actually think with their refusing to associate with MS(Phox mainly), their ethics have slightly improved.

    “This is nothing but an ego battle.”

    Arabella….talking about egos…….*sigh*

    Back to classes, so that’s all for now I guess.

  27. Kiddoh

    Sep 8th, 2010

    “Is it easy to use the phrase “anonymous douchebags” and “Woodbury University” in the same sentence?

    You bet.”

    Finally, someone gets it. Thank you.


  28. We

    Sep 8th, 2010

    Something of note in addition to Gaara Sandalwood’s points too:

    “I wonder why you have not announced that Ascent is simply a new name for Interia + nano, two viewers designed to steal passwords and make content theft so much easier.”

    Ascent is based off of Inertia, but with all malicious functionality removed. Additionally Inertia itself was not designed to steal passwords, nor was Nano (it was just a form of Emerald by disgruntled users after all). Speaking of stealing passwords, she might want to ask Phox about it, who actually has a history of doing such.

    Emerald itself, no less, is a modified vLife.

    Her post is almost entirely lies, trying to drag as many people down with her as possible, unfortunately her user base is likely to believe anything she says as true. I suspect we’ll be hearing her lies echoed by random newbies for some time.

  29. Nobody Really

    Sep 8th, 2010


    Her post isn’t really anything unexpected. It kind of reminded me of the cartoon of the mouse flipping off the eagle that’s about to scoop him up. Caption: The Last Great Act of Defiance. I suspect that it will do her about as much good as it did the mouse.

    The Emerald user base was unquestionably large, but people have short memories. Other than the fanatical faction that’s so vocal, the simple fact is that the vast and overwhelming majority of the user base simply won’t care enough to let it bother them for more than a couple days. After all, most people who use Second Life are there for entertainment – not to find something to get all worked up about. The Emo population isn’t that large.

    Life, and Second Life, will go on – Emerald and what’s-her-name will be but a small chapter.

  30. Dr Fell

    Nov 20th, 2010

    this is total bullshit and the herald proves yet again they are nothing but fucking idiots.

    Linden Labs canned Emerald Viewer by making up false claims that this viewer was “bad” and banning all the creators from second life instead of admitting that 3rd party team had created a better viewer than Linden Labs had! The only real reason Linden Labs “decided” to catch up and make clothing protection manditory in its viewers was because of the sucess of Emarld Viewer , and instead of admitting that they rather just ban the users who made it.

    perosnally they should have hired every person who worked on Emerald Viewer to join Linden Labs… that team single handedly made a viewer that a vast amount of people in second life ended up using. and I do not believe there was any tools in it to “copy stuff”

    Linden Labs and the CEO Philip are jerks and only care about money and do not really care about the long term stability and security of Second Life

  31. Nelson Jenkins

    Nov 20th, 2010

    I@ Dr Fell

    After removing the wax from your ears and the sand from your vagina, please read through this:


    Almost none of it actually involves LL. Most of it was spurred by the criminal developers of Emerald.

    I’m going to keep this short because my shift’s over, but let’s cover where you’re wrong:

    The claims were true and backed by third-party sources.

    The users in question were banned for several reasons outlined on that blog I linked.

    The Emerald viewer still exists, sans criminal developers. It’s called Phoenix.

    There were tools in Emerald to “copy stuff”. It was originally based off of a copbot viewer.

    I’d love to debate this, but you’re obviously too stubborn to believe anything other than the rage-induced lies Arabella brainwashed your mind with.

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